As Floridians, we know the dangers of hurricanes and their potential impact all too well. We have become accustomed to making the necessary preparations and paying close attention to the warnings. One topic seldom talked about in regards to hurricane preparation however, is how to make sure your business can reduce downtime and survive a hurricane.

While we usually have sufficient warning time of an incoming hurricane, business owners at times fail to react and prepare their businesses quickly because they are busy preparing their homes and families. It is important for business continuity to have a well-developed, written plan that has been thoroughly discussed with all employees before hurricane season begins.

A hurricane’s impact can shut down business activities anywhere from a couple of hours to weeks, months or even permanently. With so many businesses relying on others for information, data storage, distribution, supplies, etc. you must think not only of your immediate impact but how those you do business with may also be impacted. Some considerations to keep in mind are:

  • Back up your data off-site
  • Secure copies of any important documents and seal them in waterproof containers
  • Update your website and social media pages to alert your customers and those you do business with of any closings or other pertinent information
  • Alternate location or the option to work remotely should your office or building be deemed unsafe or for employees unable to get to work
  • How you and your employees will communicate and receive updates
  • Communicate and plan with your local and regional suppliers, customers, shippers and others you regularly do business with
  • Designate employees to undertake important tasks such as elevating PCs, servers and other crucial office equipment
  • Policies on dealing with employees, vendors, and customers
  • Ensure all employees understand their roles, expectations and responsibilities
  • Review and update your plan yearly

 

The most important way you can ensure business continuity is by having a business insurance policy that covers all aspects of your business rather than just physical damage. Review your business insurance policy carefully and contact your insurer so you know exactly what you should do immediately after a hurricane.

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